*Prodigy, one half of the rap duo Mobb Deep, has died in Las Vegas, according to his publicist.
“It is with extreme sadness and disbelief that we confirm the death of our dear friend Albert Johnson, better known to millions of fans as Prodigy of legendary NY rap duo Mobb Deep,” read a statement from his rep released Tuesday.
“Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. The exact causes of death have yet to be determined. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”
Mobb Deep performed Saturday night in Las Vegas as part of the “Art of Rap” tour, featuring Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, Ice-T and more on the bill.
Prodigy and his Mobb Deep partner, Havoc, grew up together in the Queensbridge projects in Queens and released their first demo together in 1992 under the name Poetical Prophets.
The following year, they had adopted the name Mobb Deep and released their first album “Juvenile Hell” to lukewarm reviews.
However, their 1995 follow-up, “The Infamous,” is considered a classic and features two of the group’s signature songs, “Survival of the Fittest” and “Shook Ones Pt. II.”
Fellow Queensbridge rapper Nas paid his respects on Instagram: